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FOOTBALL: Nicaragua shock Jamaica with 2-0 lead at half-time in World Cup qualifier

Published:Friday | September 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMAudley Boyd, Assistant Editor - Sport
Jamaica vs Nicaragua in their CONCACAF first-leg World Cup Qualifying football match at the National Stadium.

At half-time, Nicaragua hold a shock 2-0 lead over Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in their first-leg CONCACAF World Cup qualifying football match at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Captain Manuel Rosas gave his team the lead at the fourth minute, scoring a penalty  by sending goalkeeper Andre Blake the wrong way, after Kemar Lawrence handled a ball inside the box.

Within six minutes, Carlos Chavarria doubled the lead when sent clear with the Jamaican defence caught badly out of position on the counter.

Jamaica almost halved the deficit at the 13th when Demar Phillips, effective on the left, passed to Rodolph Austin, who smashed powerfully at goal.

However, goalkeeper Justo Lorente proved equal to the task and pushed the ball over the bar

Phillips provided an even better opportunity with another cross from the left to Simon Dawkins, but the unmarked midfielder had more time than he thought and put his shot over the bar.

Jamaica got stronger as the half progressed and moved into a position of clear dominance.

Significantly, they could not transfer that advantage into a goal against opponents whose size provided much cover for their physical play.

Jamaica have another 45 minutes, plus the second-leg away tie in Managua next Tuesday to overturn the deficit in the qualifying series for the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia.

The winners on aggregate will advance to the 12-team CONCACAF semi-final group stage.

The losers will be eliminated.